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Armagh sweating on Clarke for crunch clash

Ronan Clarke

Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke finds himself with big decisions to make as he ponders Sunday’s important National Football League assignment against Westmeath.

Goalkeeper Paul Hearty may make way for Philip McAvoy after conceding a ‘soft’ goal against Meath while O’Rourke will assess the fitness of Ronan Clarke before making up his mind whether he should risk him against the midlanders.

Hearty’s lapse in the opening minutes against Meath put his side on the back foot for a spell while the absence of the mercurial Clarke because of a pulled calf muscle meant that the attack lacked real bite despite the impressive performance of Steven McDonnell.

O’Rourke, too, was left stunned by some of the decisions of referee Gearoid O Conamha against Meath and is now hoping for a rub of the green against Westmeath who fell to Donegal at the weekend.

“While we can take some positives from the match against Meath, there were aspects that were disappointing. I thought we came back strongly, though, after being adrift early on,” said O’Rourke.

Belfast Telegraph